“Time may heal all wounds, but the scar remains, festering, threatening to overtake the vessel you once believed you controlled. And once that command is lost, we must relinquish it back to the dust from whence it came.” 

“I remember everything. I remember my very first steps, how I stumbled to conquer the act of balance, yet once it was mastered nothing could stop me. I wish I never learned, wish that I never figured out how to move forward. I have always been surrounded by people who see the beauty in the world, in life. I never did, perhaps I never was destined to, the world is an equilibrium, for each who gaze at the beauty, there needs to be someone like me who faces the horrors.” 

“When I was seven, I had a kitten. Her name was Charlotte. I was visiting my grandparents at their farm and brought Charlotte along. She flourished at the farm, chasing the hens, catching insects at night, hiding in the tall grass in the fields. My mom joked about how we would probably never be able to get her home, that’s how much Charlotte seemed to enjoy her stay. One day, there was this big machine attached to one of the tractors, I don’t know what it’s called, I never asked, or perhaps, I deliberately repressed it. It cut the grass in the fields, right at the base. Whenever the machines were up and about, we always kept Charlotte inside, she was too young to understand the dangers. However, on that day, we still don’t know how she slipped out, but she was out in the fields. I didn’t notice, too busy with a puzzle.  

Until I heard it. 

An ear-piercing wail. Despite the bouldering roars of the machines, everyone on the farm heard it. I recognized the sound of my cat. And the wailing didn’t stop. It continued. 


And on. 

And on. 

And on.   

Before this, I had never truly experienced fear. But as I threw myself from the kitchen table, and stormed out the front door, I felt the reality of it, thumping like a steam hammer in my chest. The tractor died, and the worker and my grandparents ran towards the sound.  





My mother had arrived before me, and she tried to stop me from barging unto the scene of whatever creature whose tormented cry rang through what felt like the entire world. But I bulldozed right past her arms, fueled by the adrenaline of fear.  

I really wish I never learned to stand. 

Nor walk. 

Nor run.  

Before me, tipped on her side, laid my kitten, her white coat of fur sprayed by blood. But what once was the softest of paws, now were bloody stumps, squirming in torment. The machine had chopped off all of Charlottes’ legs. And now she laid there, in agonizing pain, and we all just watched. 

We just watched her. 

As she wailed. 

And no one. 

Could do a thing. 

To save my kitten. 

My mom dragged me away, shielded me from the grotesque sight and covered my ears. I remember how I cried into her brown sweater, begged her to save Charlotte. 

‘We can’t save her, sweetie,’ was her reply, tears welling in her eyes.  

But despite her hands attempting to save me from further grief, I could still hear Charlotte. Begging for someone to help her. All her little, fluffy paws, cut off in one swift swoop. She had probably rested here nicely, basking in the sunlight, thinking of how much she loved it here, loved her life. And in the blink of an eye, her happiness was butchered, replaced by excruciating suffering, and she cried for help. She kept crying for help.  

But I couldn’t save her. 


My mom told me later they had put her to sleep. That she didn’t suffer anymore. But despite her reassurance, I kept hearing the wailing. It didn’t stop, not until the day after.  

One of the farmhand’s boys had told me though. How they had put her to sleep. His dad had just driven over my kitten with the tractor, crushing her skull. I remember it, that’s just how the kid told me. ‘Crushed her fucking skull, there was fleshy mush everywhere!’ 

And that, made everything so much worse.” 


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